Severe weather brought the US Open Cup third round match between the Philadelphia Union and the Rochester Rhinos to a halt in the first half, but that was about the only thing that was able to slow the Union offense down. Josue Martinez scored first, and Freddy Adu added two more to give the Union a 3-0 victory over their USL Pro opponents.
“The issue was obviously you can’t give MLS teams the chances we gave them, especially in the [5th] minute off a corner kick. They deserved the win, but we certainly did not help ourselves out,” Rochester coach Jesse Myers said.
Philadelphia was the brighter of the two sides to start the game. An incisive pass found Keon Daniel in the box, where he earned a corner.Adu curled the ensuing corner in, and shoddy defending led to a wide open shot and goal for Martinez in the 5th minute.
Philadelphia earned several more chances before the referee halted the game due to a severe weather warning. After a lengthy delay, the Union picked up where they had left off. Adu nearly put one in a few seconds after the restart. Then in the 29th minute, Martinez found an open Adu for an easy headed goal to put the Union up 2-0.
“I was joking with Freddy when we pulled him off,” Union coach John Hackworth said. “I said that was first time he ever scored with his head. He told me I was wrong…I don’t believe him.”
Part of the reason for the Union’s success was due to their flank play. Both Philadelphia fullbacks were heavily involved in the attack, often setting up dangerous plays. However, Rochester started to press the attack and nearly got back into the game in the 41st minute, when a goal was negated due to an offside call. The Rhinos had some more good efforts toward the end of the half, but they could not find a way to score.
In the second half, Rochester earned some more chances, but they could not convert any of them. Then, as the half wore on, the Rhinos seemed to wear down a bit. This game was their third in five days—a brutal stretch that included two league games on the road before facing the Union at PPL Park.
Substitute Michael Zaher had a great chance for Rochester in the 69th minute. The ball was played to his feet, and he had just the goalie to beat, but he hit it wide of the net. Four minutes later, the Union made him pay for his missed opportunity, as Michael Farfan was taken down in the box. Adu stepped up and buried the penalty kick in the 73rd minute to put the game away.
With the victory, the Union move on to face DC United in the 4th round of the cup. United were 2-1 winners over the Richmond Kickers.
“It was an important game for us,” Hackworth said. “We needed to come out and play a good game for ourselves more than anything…A good night for the Union.”
Philadelphia Union 3:0 Rochester Rhinos
PPL Park – Chester, Pa.
PHI: Josue Martinez (Adu) 8
PHI: Freddy Adu (Martinez) 29
PHI: Freddy Adu (penalty) 73
RR: Danny Earls caution 40
RR: Jack Traynor caution 52
PHI: Michael Lahoud caution 56
RR: Tyler Rosenlund 90+
Philadelphia Union: Chris Konopka; Michael Farfan, AmobiOkugo, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan (Kai Herdling-71); Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud, Keon Daniel, Freddy Adu (Jimmy McLaughlin-80); Josue Martinez (Chandler Hoffman-90), LionardPajoy
Rochester Rhinos:KristianNicht; Jack Traynor, George Kyriazis, Troy Roberts, Quavas Kirk (Michael Tanke-76); Drew Cost (Michael Zaher-59), Tyler Rosenlund, Danny Earls, JC Banks; Thomas McManus, GracianoBrito (Andrew Hoxie-59)